Approximately 2/3 of women worldwide fear their routine gynecologic visits, according to recent statistics. So what can possibly be done to decrease this number? Spreading gynecologic care awareness, of course.
In this article, we will explain what to expect throughout an appointment, how to prepare for it, and what you can do to lessen stress levels.
Who is supposed to receive GYN care?
Any AFAB person who has a female reproductive system is recommended to go through a standard check-up at least once by the age of 21 and go to regular examinations after starting active sexual life.
What are the basic reasons for check-ups?
The range of concerns among the patients varies from person to person. Reasons for seeking GYN care fall into five main categories.
Among them are the following:
- Standard regular examinations in order to prevent, diagnose, and treat different conditions, infections, diseases, and tumors
- Problematic menstrual cycle
- Premenopausal and menopausal symptoms
- Birth control concerns
- Experiencing other unpleasant symptoms; for instance, outer labia rush, vaginal odor, sense of discomfort during intercourse, etc.
In certain cases, symptoms can intermingle and require a complex treatment.
Who can provide gyn care?
Proper gynecological care can be provided by two types of medical professionals: gynecologists and primary care providers (PCP). While basic procedures (treating simple infections, prescribing birth control, etc.) can be carried out by the latter, we recommend patients who experience severe pains and recurring infections or have been sexually assaulted seek care provided by gynecologists.
What to expect during a gynecologic visit?
An appointment generally starts with a doctor questioning their patients about medical anamneses, level of sexual activity, and plans on having children. The next step is an examination of the breasts, belly, and pelvis. If you experience certain symptoms, you might be tested for infections or have your vulvar skin taken for biopsy.
How to prepare prior to the appointment?
As it was mentioned before, a gynecologic exam can be overwhelming. But still, there are several ways to wind yourself down.
Things to keep in mind:
- Before the visit, write down your concerns and other important data in case not to forget to talk about them due to anxiety.
- Be open with your GYN care provider and let them know what you are apprehensive about, especially if you have ever been sexually assaulted.
- In case you have any questions about the exam part – ask them right away. Don’t hesitate to inquire.
- Practice breathing exercises and over-meditative techniques in order to relax.
And always keep in mind that if anything makes you uncomfortable and disoriented during the visit, you can demand to end the exam, no questions asked. Seek a better provider and take care of yourself.